Bowling is a sport for all ages. Whether you are a child, teenager, adult, or elderly, bowling is the perfect sport for you. Learning to bowl from a young age can be very helpful for a professional future. Making sure your kids learn how to bowl well can help them excel in the sport.
You might be wondering, is bowling safe for kids, and how do I teach my child how to bowl? Well, those are the things that I am here to tell you, along with some others.
In this article, I will talk about the age kids should start bowling and choosing a bowling ball for kids and everything you need to teach your child, so they learn to bowl well and be successful if they pursue bowling as a professional sport.
When can kids start bowling?
Childhood is the best time to learn about a sport and how to play it perfectly. This goes for bowling as well. But there is a lot of questions about when kids should start bowling.
Well, there is no particular age, because I have seen children as small as six years old playing and beating their parents at the game at times. However, it is not safe to hand a large bowling ball to a small kid.
Therefore, ultimately, when a child reaches the age of 9 or 10, they can safely start bowling with a light bowling ball and slowly but continue their journey to heavier balls and better technique.
How to Choose a Bowling Ball for Kids
Are house balls too heavy for your child? The only solution to this is getting a custom ball that suits them and their beginner style. But what should you look for in the ideal bowling ball for kids? Here is a buying guide for the right bowling ball for your child:
The bowling ball size matters a lot, especially if you buy it for a young one. Smaller-sized bowling balls are better for children because they fit better in their hands, and if you get a bowling ball that is too big, they will not be able to use it very well. It could end up hurting them, so avoid bigger balls.
Bowling balls vary a lot depending upon their weight. The lightest bowling balls that are apt for children are around 6 pounds. But there are bowling balls that range anywhere from 10 to 14 and even 16 pounds, so as your child grows older, they can transition to heavier balls and learn to play well with them.
Children are very excited by bright colors. They have more artistic capability than older people. If you are getting a custom bowling ball, make sure your child approves of the color you choose because their preferred colors would get them to work harder and learn quicker than having to bowl with something they are not a fan of.
If your child is a fan of ten-pin bowling, then the finger holes of their bowling ball matter a lot. This is simply because if the finger holes are too big, they will not get a good grip on the ball. So, make sure the bowling ball has customized finger holes that are perfectly sized according to the requirements of the child bowler.
What If a 6-Pound Bowling Ball is Too Heavy for a Kid?
If your child wants to bowl at quite a young age, but the bowling balls are too heavy for them, they might feel demotivated. Lucky for you, there are a couple of solutions you can use to help them throw a bowling ball even if they are unable to throw one as light as 6 pounds. Let us take a look at them.
The bowling helper for kids is called a bowling ramp. This is a plastic structure based on a reverse incline that can help a child who cannot throw the ball on their own. You can put the bowling ball on top, and then your child can roll it down according to the right trajectory and knock the pins down. They are also available for disabled people in wheelchairs. They are large structures and can be found commonly in entertainment bowling centers.
Practicing with Other Balls
There is another solution if your child cannot pick up a 6-pound bowling ball and maneuver it. But you are going to have to spend time on this. Arrange a bowling green in your yard and use lighter, smaller balls to get their arm movement into shape and then slowly transition to bigger bowling balls; they’re get used to the motion and develop strength in their arms as well.
Is bowling safe for kids?
I have heard a lot of people say this. “Bowling doesn’t seem safe for children.” In addition, many people have debates over this particular topic. Well, a thing to remember is that no sport comes without any risks. It depends upon how you make it safe for yourself.
This does not mean you should hand a large-sized bowling ball to your child because they might injure themselves and the people around them. Taking precautions is necessary.
Ensure children wear bowling shoes, so they do not slip and use lighter balls, so their arms do not bend unnaturally, and gloves, so their wrists stay safe is essential. If all of these measures are taken aptly, then bowling is a perfectly safe sport even for children.
How to Teach Kids Bowling?
One of the biggest problems parents nowadays face is “how to teach bowling to kids?”. This is simply because most of the time, parents do not know how to bowl themselves effectively.
The process can be slightly tricky, but if you employ the following basic teaching tactics, you will learn yourself and help your child learn how to bowl nicely.
Step 1: Holding the Ball
The first and foremost thing you need to show your child is how to hold a bowling ball.
Ensure you show your child videos and tutorials from pros and tell them to place the bowling ball on their waist, with one of the arms supporting the ball while the throwing arms stay loose and ready to move.
This step is incredibly crucial and will make most of the impact.
Step 2: Taking the Steps
Now, the next bit is to focus on the movement towards the foul line. It would help if you taught your child to take the same step forward first as the side you are holding the ball on.
You are going to take three more steps until you reach the foul line. Make sure your child does not stand too close or too far away from the foul line, which might result in a miscalculation.
Step 3: Releasing the Ball
This step is the ultimate step in teaching your kids to bowl. You are teaching them to throw the ball and knock all the pins down in a single shot.
Tell your child to aim at the arrows because they are in the same alignment as your shot needs to be. Once your kid knows where to look while throwing the ball, getting strikes and spares will be easy.
Step 4: Teaching Techniques
Therefore, you have successfully taught your child to bowl, and they are learning the sport fluently. It is now time for them to start learning techniques to become better at the sport.
The techniques that you are going to have to teach them are curving and hooking the ball initially. Then move onto more difficult and advanced techniques. Twisting off the fingers, pushing out the thumb, utilizing the wrist, all these tips need to be taught to your kids if you want them to become professionals at the sport.
How to Make Bowling Fun for Kids
Bowling can seem boring to kids if there are not amazing lights, food, and friends involved, like in an entertainment bowling center. So, you have to create a fun environment for them.
Let us say there is a birthday party happening. Taking the kids to a nearby Bowling center, giving them snacks, play-time, and everything would make the sport fun for them.
Similarly, if there is some other event or just a gathering between kids, you can go outdoors and find a bowling green and make sure your children have a great time there. Bowling can be as fun as you want, but you will have to put some effort into it for your children.
Kids can learn to bowl well in a short span of time, especially if they put their mind to it and are given the right tips and techniques to learn. In addition to this, practicing regularly will further sharpen their skills. But it is okay if they do not learn quickly either.
Not everyone is built the same way. So, make sure you teach your children the right techniques and give them proper time to prepare for this sport and enjoy it. I hope you will have a fantastic bowling teaching experience with your kids.